Multiculturalism in society and education is a reality in the twenty-first century. How we choose to deal with it is a basic question. Including multiculturalism as a fundamental component of teacher education programs is increasingly of interest given that teachers need to work successfully with diverse learners at the ideological level, practical level, political level and methodological level. Successful implementation of the tenets of multiculturalism is seen as affording teachers with the skills, knowledge and awareness needed to understand their own identity as well as that of their diverse students as basic elements of efficacious teaching and learning for all students. This paper examines how as teacher educators we go about understanding and addressing multiculturalism as an expression of one’s identity and how such awareness enables preservice teachers to more effectively deal with diversity. It looks at pre-service teacher’s understandings of multiculturalism/identity/diversity and focuses on an analysis of the development, implementation and efficacy of a university multicultural education course. The reflective content analysis is based on the experiences as noted in the reflective journal entries of pre-service teachers taking the course. The course participants: Greek university undergraduate elementary education students and students from other European countries participating in the European Union Erasmus student mobility program. The analysis indicated that that an increased opportunity for active participation and reflection positively influences the multicultural awareness of the course participants.
|Keywords:||Multiculturalism/Identity/Diversity, Multicultural Education, Pre-service Teacher Education Reflective Journal Writing, Content Analysis, Erasmus Student Mobility|
Assistant Professor, Multilingual Multicultural Education: Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Elementary Education, Division of Pedagogy, University of Patras, Rion, Patras, Greece
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